White Knights and Onion Domes, Moscow Russia

When thinking of Moscow, visions of onion domes and white nights frequently come to mind as does its rich history, culture and fantastic architecture. There is much to this fascinating and historical city that will capture the imagination of visitors.

Kremlin, Moscow, RussiaThe first written accounts of Moscow appear from the year 1147, in the Historical Chronicles established by Prince Yury Dolgoruky of Suzdal, Russia. In an account of his journey to Vladimir, his army made a stop along the Moskva River at the small village that later became Moscow. In the year 1328, Moscow became the capital city of Russia. Later, the capital was moved to St. Petersburg under the reign of Peter I in the year 1713 but in March 1918, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, Moscow became the capital of the new Russia – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Revolution in Moscow in 1991 saw the end of the Soviet era and a shift to a more democratic government system in Russia.

The Kremlin is probably the best known structure in all of Russia. With its beautiful and distinctly Russian 15th century architecture, this imposing fortress is a symbol of the strong and proud heritage of Russia. The Kremlin complex contains twenty towers, six churches and cathedrals and a number of opulent palaces. The entire complex is surrounded by the Kremlin Wall, built during the reign of Ivan III in the late 15th century.

The Kremlin Armory Museum, one of the largest museums in the world, is home to the treasures of Tsars through the years and includes Faberge eggs, jewels of both Russian and foreign royalty, costumes and carriages dating back hundreds of years and a vast collection of both Russian and foreign weaponry.

Red Square Moscow, RussiaRed Square is a must-see when traveling to Moscow! There is a wealth of history found there such as the awe inspiring St. Basil’s Cathedral that was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the conquest of Kazan over the Mongols in 1552. Other attractions found on Red Square include the lavish State Department Store GUM, the Lenin Mausoleum, the Kazan Cathedral and much more.

A bit off the beaten path is a fascinating remnant from the Cold War era. Secure Command Post Taganskaya, also known as Bunker 42, is a former KGB bunker located far below the Taganskaya Metro station. It was built in the early 1950s as headquarters for KGB operations and as a bomb shelter in case of nuclear attack. Tours are offered that take you deep below the city, 65 meters down to the formerly secret facility. The bunker has been restored and contains authentic radio and communications equipment of the era, command desks and Soviet-era rifles and weapons that can be handled by visitors. There are many rooms and secret passages throughout the massive complex to capture the imagination. Tours are guided and by appointment only.

Moskva River , Moscow, RussiaThere is much to see in this fascinating city along the Moskva River that will inspire and provide memories to last a lifetime. Several outstanding parks offer free admission through out the city. Park Sokoloniiki is a great place to stroll through birch tree forest while enjoying amusements and games that are available. After a afternoon in the park try one of the many nearby Moscow restaurants offering a variety of food with a local Russian flavor. Kolomenskoye park is another favorite, sitting in magnificent gardens with great views of the former Imperial building. For more information on this historic city, check out My Destination Moscow.

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